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May 9, 2014
The East Carolina University College of Nursing graduated 238 students at its 50th convocation on Friday, May 9, at Minges Coliseum in Greenville. The event marked the entry of the next generation of nurses into the profession and in service to North Carolina – about 85 percent of the college's alumni typically remain in the state to practice.
"We are North Carolina's largest college of nursing, preparing more new nurses than any other program in the state," College of Nursing Dean Sylvia Brown said during her remarks. "We are proud of our legacy of service."
Both graduate and undergraduate students were honored at the ceremony. Eighty-five students graduated from either the doctoral program or with master's degrees or post-master's certificates in the areas of education, nursing leadership, clinical nurse specialist, anesthesia or midwifery. One hundred and fifty-three students graduated with a bachelor's degree in nursing, after completing either the four-year curriculum or the program designed for registered nurses pursuing bachelor's degrees.
Brown told attendees that even on the most mundane day as a nurse, each graduate will have the ability to dramatically change the course of a person's life for the better.
"No matter what sector of health care you enter, I know that each of you will make a difference in the lives that you touch," she said. "Your education has prepared you to do so."
Class President Caitlin Fanning presented Brown with the senior class gift – $2,000 to support future student scholarships. Fanning noted the importance of giving back in support of future generations of nurses.
"To be able to say that I'm a Pirate Nurse puts a higher standard on what our patients and our colleagues can expect of us," she said of graduating. "It comes with a lot of pride."
Fanning and many of the graduates are members of the East Carolina Association of Nursing Students, a group that promotes leadership and professional development for students studying to become nurses. ECANS was named the Organization of the Year at the Student Activities and Organizations banquet on May 4.
The convocation ceremony also recognized a number of graduates for exceptional academic success. Seven students are members of the inaugural class of graduates from the ECU Honors College, which the university designed specifically for academically talented students.
Among students graduating with honors were 21 Cum Laude and 28 Magna Cum Laude graduates. Thirteen students graduated with distinction (maintained a minimum GPA of 3.5 or above in all courses and earned an A in the last two service-learning project courses).
This year's recipient of the Phyllis N. Horns Doctoral Student Award also was honored at the event. Carolyn Horne, who serves as a clinical instructor in the College of Nursing, was selected by the college's doctoral faculty to receive the award. She completed her dissertation, "Complementary Pain Intervention Pilot Study in the Acute Hospital Phase after Amputation Surgery Using a Desensitization Protocol," under the direction of Dr. Martha Engelke, professor and director of research and creative activity.
In addition to the college's Friday afternoon convocation, students attended ECU's morning commencement ceremony at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium together with 3,800 fellow graduates. View social media coverage of the event.